When you decide it’s time to do away with unsightly spider veins or varicose veins, one of your top treatment choices is sclerotherapy. The procedure is simple, takes under an hour, and you can get back to your daily activities when it’s over.
You’ll receive exceptional care and expert sclerotherapy treatment at all our Vein Health Clinics offices, which are conveniently located in Oviedo, Winter Haven, and Apopka, Florida. Here’s a look at what you can expect during your first sclerotherapy appointment.
Sclerotherapy eliminates varicose veins and spider veins
Sclerotherapy is the treatment most often used for spider veins and varicose veins. During sclerotherapy, a medicated solution or foam is injected into the targeted veins. The medication irritates the vein wall and makes the walls stick together. Before long, scarring develops, your body gradually reabsorbs the damaged tissues, and your veins are eliminated.
The medications used for sclerotherapy come in two forms: liquid and foam. Liquid sclerotherapy solutions easily enter the tiniest spider veins. Although foam can be used to treat any vein size, it’s the best choice for large, twisted veins because it expands to reach the walls.
What to expect during sclerotherapy
When you first come in for sclerotherapy, we’ll review the procedure and answer any questions you may have about what to expect. Then your treatment proceeds according to the type of vein being treated.
Since spider veins are so small and at the skin’s surface, you won’t need anesthesia. After you relax on the treatment table, Dr. Nwobi cleans the targeted area with alcohol, then uses a very fine needle to inject the medicated solution into the veins. Although the procedure is tolerable, some patients feel a small sting when the needle is inserted.
When your injection is finished, Dr. Nwobi applies compression and gently massages the area to help disperse the medication and keep blood out of the injected area. Sclerotherapy for spider veins takes about 15-60 minutes, depending on the number of veins being injected.
Before treating varicose veins, a local anesthetic is often administered, especially if the veins being treated are deep below the surface. Even with the anesthetic, you may experience mild discomfort and cramping when large-sized veins are injected, but that only lasts a minute or two.
Sclerotherapy for varicose veins is often performed using ultrasound. With ultrasound imaging, Dr. Nwobi can identify and treat all varicosities, including deep veins. The real-time imaging also gives him the ability to see the needle and guide its placement in the vein.
When one injection is finished, a compression pad is applied to the site, and we move on to the next injection. The number of injections you’ll need depends on how many veins are treated, their size, and whether a liquid or foam medication is used.
For the last step, compression stockings are placed on your legs and your sclerotherapy procedure is finished. The first sclerotherapy procedure for most patients takes about 30-60 minutes.
What happens after your sclerotherapy treatment
You can get up and walk after your treatment is done. In fact, we encourage walking to prevent potential complications like blood clots. You’ll find that your post-procedure instructions are minimal.
If you had facial veins treated, you’ll need to protect the area from sunlight for a few weeks. The injections may leave slight inflammation and redness that can turn into dark spots on your skin if they’re exposed to ultraviolet light.
Following sclerotherapy for varicose veins, you can immediately return to most daily activities. However, you should avoid strenuous exercise during your recovery. It’s also important to keep your legs out of the sun, but that’s generally accomplished by wearing your compression stockings.
You’ll also need to avoid hot baths, as well as aspirin, ibuprofen, and other anti-inflammatory medications for 48 hours after your procedure. You’ll receive specific self-care instructions to follow before you leave the office.
Potential side effects caused by sclerotherapy
Sclerotherapy causes very few side effects. Some patients develop bruising or red areas at the injection site. Redness generally disappears in a few days, while bruising is gone in a few weeks. If you were treated for large varicose veins, they may become lumpy or hard before they finally disappear.
In the days or weeks after sclerotherapy, small blood vessels sometimes appear in the treated area. These vessels are temporary and disappear in a few months. Some patients develop brown lines or spots on their skin at the injection site, which should disappear in 3-6 months.
If you’re bothered by painful or unattractive veins, or you have questions about sclerotherapy, call Vein Health Clinics. Or you can make an appointment using the “book online” button here on the website. We’re here to answer your questions and help you find the best way to eliminate varicose veins and spider veins.